Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 15 June 2021
Coronavirus in Russia: Moscow Authorities Take Desperate Decision
On June 12, Russia confirmed 14,723 new coronavirus cases–– the most infections the country has seen since mid-February. The situation leveled off in the following days but as of June 14, Russia has reported 5,222,408 cases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic while its total excess fatality count now stands at 126,801.
Moscow is seeing the biggest number of new cases and deaths in Russia. The mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin announced a non-working week from June 15 to 19 in an attempt to curb the growing number of infections. After that, businesses are advised to transfer at least 30 percent of their employees to work from home. Sobyanin took action after the daily increase in new cases in Moscow reached the December 2020 figures. Moscow authorities said almost 80 percent of hospital beds are taken by coronavirus patients. Among them there are more and more young people, doctors say. Sobyanin estimated that around half of Moscow’s residents had by now some level of immunity against the virus. More than 126,000 coronavirus deaths have been registered by authorities since the start of the pandemic, but many experts say officials vastly underreport fatalities. The federal statistics agency, Rosstat, has kept a separate toll and has said that Russia recorded around 270,000 deaths related to Covid-19 between April 2020 and April 2021. If the situation keeps aggravating nationwide, more restrictions can be announced in other parts of Russia. The main reason for the rise in coronavirus infections could be widespread reluctance among Russians to get vaccinated. Russian President Vladimir Putin said so far roughly 18 million Russian have been inoculated, a relatively small sample of Russia’s 145 million population. As various surveys have shown, the majority of Russians refuse to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Another problem is shortage of Sputnik V jabs. Russia is not keeping up with production as it has signed many supply deals with other countries worldwide. And since Russia struggles to meet the deadline for its export obligations, the use of the vaccine for domestic purposes is not a priority.
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